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Letters To The Editor 12/2/2018

December 2, 2018

YOUR OPINION

Taxpayers footing bill

for educational deceit

Editor: The Trump administration has been in power for almost two years.

It has kept us spinning, but hides some of its activities. For example, under the leadership of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, the administration has supported for-profit colleges, such as Trump University. Many such schools were found guilty of fraud and were closed by the previous administration.

DeVos has made it harder to get loans for college, harder to deal with college debt and easier to get away with rape in high schools and colleges. She has not succeeded yet, but she would like to replace science with religion courses, highlighting her Christian faith, of course. She wants to replace our highly regulated and quite successful traditional public schools with largely unregulated and unaccountable for-profit charter and cybercharter schools, preferably those with a Christian bent. Meanwhile, she has done nothing to improve public schools.

As is the case for many Trumpsters, facts do not matter. For example, DeVos claims charter schools — both bricks-and-mortar and cyber operations — are better than traditional public schools. The truth is exactly the opposite.

In Pennsylvania, for the last few years, all schools have earned a school performance profile based on factors such as state test scores, attendance rates and graduation rates. A score of 70 — out of 100 — is considered passing. The average for traditional public schools was 77.1 and nearly three-quarters received a score of 70 or higher. Only 43 percent of the state’s 164 bricks-and-mortar charter schools, most of which are in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, passed. None of the 18 cyber charter schools did.

The taxpayers pay for them — all of the above. State data suggest that we are not getting our money’s worth from charter and cyber charter schools.

JOSEPH ROGAN

EYNON

 

Acts of kindness give season true meaning

Editor: The yuletide season is upon us.

I didn’t participate in the frenzy of Black Friday. I simply enjoy sharing and giving thanks for special people. That makes this time of year special for me. I have plenty to be thankful for because people have gone out of their way to be kind to me. I once told my students when you care for others you are cared for and when you love others you are loved. This season of giving should reveal our love for one another through kindness because loving kindness gives this special time its true meaning.

Children take great joy in Santa’s arrival on Christmas. I enjoy seeing young faces light up at the sight of Santa.

There was a time, though, when I felt the season of giving was a common courtesy in order to receive and provide gifts. I now understand that this season is for heartfelt acts of gratitude for having people in our lives. When keeping the true spirit of giving close to our heart it enables us to give from the heart year-round.

Love gives this time of year its true meaning. It’s not gifts that count in life but the unrecognized, undetected and unremembered acts of loving kindness that are our greatest gifts and achievements in life.

If we truly want to see a world of loving and joyous people, we must be loving and joyous toward people in our own lives. When we reach out and touch others, we touch part of the humanity that is within us. When we enhance the life of another in need, we in turn enhance our own lives.

Small acts of kindness resonate with the giver and the receiver because they come from the heart. How can you put a price on love?

THOMAS F. O’NEILL

LOCK HAVEN,

CLINTON COUNTY

 

Health care importance

obvious in election results

Editor: As the dust settles from the midterm elections and while most race results have been finalized, it’s apparent that Pennsylvanians clearly had health care on their minds when they entered the voting booths.

A recent survey from Ipsos and Consumers for Quality Care found that health care was one of the top two issues that informed Americans’ vote on Nov. 6 and that Democrats and Republicans actually agree on the subject much more than you might think. Americans are deeply frustrated with our health care system and the consensus is clear: Voters are tired of partisan politics on health care. They want a more patient-centered approach than what is currently being discussed and they think improving health care should be a major priority for elected officials.

The survey also found that two in three Americans say they struggle with predicting how much they will have to pay for health care when they need it and they want more clarity and transparency to avoid getting hit with surprise bills and shocking fees. As Pennsylvania’s re-elected and newly elected members of Congress head to Washington to take care of our nation’s business, I urge them to show voters that they heard their concerns and then act swiftly to address them.

DONNA CHRISTENSEN

CATHARPIN, VIRGINIA

Editor’s note: The writer is a former delegate to Congress from the Virgin Islands and a board member of Consumers for Quality Care.

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